studio farris' varied brick complex rethinks the archetype of social housing

studio farris' varied brick complex rethinks the archetype of social housing

studio farris architects challenge standardization of social housing

 

Studio Farris Architects complete a social housing complex in the small town of Dessel, Belgium. The project utilizes a range of bricks for each façade and features unique room configurations, showcasing the architects’ commitment to deviate from the conventional standardized approach to public housing. Studio Farris explores ideas of communal living and uses variety to enhance the identity of individual units.

studio farris' varied brick complex rethinks the archetype of social housing
studio farris’ approach explores ideas of communal living and enhancing the identity of individual units

all images courtesy of Koen Van DammeMartino Pietropoli

 

 

Maximizing variety in the design

 

In response to the increasing rent prices and shortage of affordable housing in the country, De Ark initiated a competition for a public residence complex. The contest was won by Studio Farris Architects, an Antwerp-based firm, led by Italian architect Giuseppe Farris. The design studio’s mission is to uncover architectural potential by questioning the obvious and exploring context and cultural heritage.  

studio farris' varied brick complex rethinks the archetype of social housing
variety of facades creates nuance and individuality within the larger complex

 

The studio’s project in Dessel is a departure from typical social housing, where discrepancies in the seven buildings create nuance within the larger complex. The six houses and 16 apartments were completed in August 2022 and have all been assigned to tenants. The differing constructions are characterized by constant width but varying length, height, and material finishes.

studio farris' varied brick complex rethinks the archetype of social housing
studio farris deliberately placed the dwellings set back from the street to accommodate a public garden

 

 

Studio farris facilitate public garden to enhance community

 

Studio Farris deliberately placed the dwellings set back from the street to accommodate a public garden that promotes social interaction within the complex and community. Rainwater is collected on the roofs of the houses and is reused to irrigate the garden. The park features a network of pedestrian paths and open areas, including a children’s play area and benches for rest, making it a versatile and functional space for local residents.

Studio-Farris-Architects-Social-Housing-in-Dessel-Designboom-fullsize-03

the park features a network of pedestrian paths and open areas

 

studio farris' varied brick complex rethinks the archetype of social housing
the project is a departure from the standardized solutions of typical social housing

 

Studio-Farris-Architects-Social-Housing-in-Dessel-Designboom-fullsize-02

the six houses and 16 apartments were completed in August 2022 and have all been assigned to tenants

studio farris' varied brick complex rethinks the archetype of social housing
brick and timber combine in this material palette

Studio-Farris-Architects-Social-Housing-in-Dessel-Designboom-fullsize-01

buildings are characterized by constant width but varying length, height and material finishes, creating slight variations

studio farris' varied brick complex rethinks the archetype of social housing
perforated brick and opening detail

studio farris' varied brick complex rethinks the archetype of social housing
park features a children’s play area and benches for rest, making it a versatile and functional space for local residents

Studio-Farris-Architects-Social-Housing-in-Dessel-Designboom-fullsize-04

the park is a new meeting place for the whole community

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